This island off the Sidney area is part of the Gulf Islands National Park. It is illegal to disturb, remove or possess any wildlife in the park and this protection extends 200 meters from shore into the surrounding ocean. I came here on June 12, 2023 for an evening dive on the SEA Dive charter boat.
        We entered the water around the middle of the West side of the island near a patch of bull kelp. The plan was to swim North along the side of the island. Visibility was about 15'.
        The bottom was a slope of urchin-covered rocks, sand/gravel and some more solid rocky reefs that formed small walls in places. I stayed around 50-60' deep, which seemed to be the base of the main rocky area. From a distance, the rocks seemed kind of bare and even grey and silty. Looking up close, there were lots of red burrowing cucumbers, warty tunicates, and grey feather-type hydroids. I thought it was strange that I didn't see a single anemone or cup coral on the entire dive. Some areas had groups of copper, quillback, brown and yellowtail rockfish. I saw several octopus dens. The topography here is great for that since the rocks and boulders create all kinds of hollows.
        Eventually I reached an area where there was more current and there was more current-loving invertebrate life. There was some encrusting hydrocoral and some gnarled sponge and compound tunicates.
        I think that this was an ok dive, but for me, I don't think it is "charter worthy". There are other spots off the Sidney-area that better represent my idea of a great dive spot (lots of colourful, current-loving invertebrate life covering everything). This would be a great spot though, for people who like to take it slow and poke around, looking at the variety of little things around the rocks. I'd still like to have a look at some other areas around D'Arcy Island, including the pinnacles around Kelp Reefs.
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